NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Is there softball season on hold?
Softball players at a New York City high school say they were placed on “TBA” when their coach left to lead the boys’ team.
CBS2’s Cory James has more after reaching out to the Department of Education to question how this happened.
“We have no coach.”
Those were words Shiloh Gonskay never thought she would say. The 18-year-old LaGuardia High School senior is now fighting to save her softball season.
This after Gonskay says her team lost their coach to the boys’ baseball team, a sudden change the team captain did not see coming.
“The coach reached out to me first. He was like hey I’m super-excited for the season to start,” Gonskay said. “Then he emailed me two days later and was like ‘I’m really sorry. I’m now going to be coaching baseball.’”
Frustrated parents told CBS2 the Public Schools Athletic League decided to play all three seasons of sports in the spring. However, coaches can only supervise one sport, creating what some are calling a coaching shortage that is sidelining girl athletes.
“It made me really, really upset,” said Amy Plattsmier, Gonskay’s mother.
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In an email, LaGuardia High School’s assistant principal and athletic director said, “PSAL was asked if coaches can supervise two sports, but that was declined…”
He then states in part “not offering this sport during this truncated season does not affect future offering.”
While questions about Title IX violations are being raised, New York City attorney Sidaartha Rao said when it comes to this situation, it, “sounds like a Title IX claim. I understand why people would be focused on the optics. It’s hard to know how much or how little sympathy will be given by responding public to the school.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Education sent CBS2 a statement that reads in part, “LaGuardia High School will have both a baseball and a softball team.” It added, “The school is in the process of hiring a softball coach, and looks forward to starting the season shortly.”
School officials told James the softball season will begin as soon as a new coach is named. Some parents and athletes question if that will actually happen because they say other teams have already started practicing and they are on hold.